Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Personal Progress Reminder

Merry Christmas!

Gave this to mothers today. One cookie for mom to decorate, one cookie for daughter to decorate as they sit down to talk about personal progress. You can access the bag topper here.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Personal Progress Reminder

I'm thankful for personal progress! November's personal progress reminder was inspired by this adorable Halloween reminder.
You can find the how-to here, although I cut my paper 6x6, not 3x4.

Inside the package were chocolates and small reminders on how the girls' day-to-day activities can count toward personal progress.
Happy Autumn!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Honor Bee

One of our young women earned her Honor Bee! I put together this package as a gift to her.

It contains the book One Drop at a Time by M. Russell Ballard, some Burt's Bees lip gloss and hand lotion, some Bit-O-Honey candies, a letter from the bishop, a letter from the young women presidency, and (of course) her BEE CHARM!

On the back of the paper tag bee is this quote: "The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others." -St. John Chrysostom

What a fitting quote for a girl who continues to labor for others.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Young Women in Excellence 2013

We had a really great Young Women in Excellence last night! Our theme was purse-sonal progress. Photos speak volumes, so here they are!

The invitation:

The set-up:

The program:

We showed this video--I love this story and the church did a great job putting it in video form, as usual.

Here was the highlight of the evening: instead of table displays of the girls' accomplishments, we rounded up as many cute and colorful purses as we could find, then gave a purse to each of the girls the Sunday before our event. We asked the girls to put their personal progress accomplishments INSIDE the purse, and asked them not to put their names with their stuff. All the purses were gathered back up, then placed on the tables at YWIE. After we showed the video, we had each girl and her parents take a purse that was not her own, and review its contents. Then they got to guess whose purse it was. When they guess correctly, the YW owner of the purse stood and told what each item meant. It was a fun way to spotlight each girls' personal progress accomplishments. We have a ward full of amazingly talented young women!

It seems like our program had a lot of speakers, but each were brief (me, the Stake YW Presidency, the ward YW President, and the Bishop).

The girls each got to take home a paper purse.

Inside the purse were items found in most purses, but with a YW value twist!

White tissues because when we have faith to share our testimony, we sometimes shed tears.
Blue mirror to remind them that they are created in God's image.
Red coin purse to remind them that their worth is priceless.
Green notebook so they can write down all the knowledge that comes to mind.
Orange gum to remind them to "chews" the right.
Yellow hand sanitizer to help them keep hands clean while they continue to use their hands to serve.
Purple chapstick to remind them to speak with integrity.
Gold temple recommend because maintaining virtue will help lead them to the temple.

UPDATE: You can find all the labels here, but keep in mind that some labels might not fit because all products/brands are different.

You can download the purse invitation and program here. I did not use the side gusset.

You can download the paper purse take-home gift here. I enlarged it to fit a 12x12 paper.

Our treats were amazing (put together by our YW presidency). I wish I had a picture of the table with all the cookies, but some cookies arrived a few minutes before we started and I was too busy talking to snap a photo. You get the idea though.

It was a fun, fun night!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Personal Progress Reminder

I'm changing things up a little with personal progress.

Last month, our ward had a meeting for all adults during the 3rd hour of church. The focus of this meeting was the youth. The Sunday School president taught most of the meeting, with help from the Young Women's president and Young Men's president. The gist of the meeting was this: each auxiliary exists for the FAMILY. Personal progress was specifically mentioned as a PARENT/youth program. It struck me that I've been so focused on helping the young women with personal progress, that I've neglected to include their mothers in the program.

So here's what I'm going to do. Once a month or so, I'll give the mothers a reminder to have a sit-down with their daughters. Here's the reminder I gave them this month:

I gave it to the mothers with specific instructions to share the treat with their daughter while they are reviewing her personal progress. Crossing my fingers that it works....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Personal Progress Sit 'n Sip

Many of the value experiences overlap, so I figured: Why not combine a few experiences into one night? We worked on:

Faith 2
Divine Nature 2
Knowledge 1
Integrity 4

Each value experience has to do with motherly advice, so we had a kinda-tea party. Except without tea. And the big hats. And the fancy accents.

We had four stations, divided the girls into four groups, and let them have 10 minutes at each group. At each table we had one FANTASTICLY qualified woman who lead a short discussion on each topic.

Each of the four tables had tiered plates with tea party-type food (little brownies, mini cream puffs, raspberries, and strawberries). They also had journal pages at their tables.

This activity would have been perfect for May to coordinate with Mother's Day. Or the summertime would have fit well too. As it turns out, the day of this activity the weather turned very cold and we got our first snowfall in the mountains! Shoulda served a hot chocolate bar. Or maybe I should pocket that idea for next July....?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Meet Elizabeth

Let me introduce you to my daughter, Elizabeth.
This beautiful, sweet girl earned her Young Women Medallion not once, but TWICE! She also earned her honor bee. The second time she earned her medallion, she was a senior in high school. I tell you this because if you have young women who are 16 or even 17 and think it's too late to be working on personal progress, NOT SO! In fact, maybe earning a personal progress medallion is easier the second time around because the program is familiar. We have another young woman in our ward who is also working on her second medallion!

Here's how Elizabeth did it:

She reviewed the personal progress book and highlighted every page. She highlighted scriptures to look up in blue. She highlighted actions items (talk to someone, write in journal, share testimony, etc.) in orange. Green items are time-sensitive. Yellow highlights was a personal indication of "I'm planning on doing this one." Her hand-written notes indicate that two value experiences overlap.

Most of her value projects had something to do with activities she was already involved in: Student council, community orchestra, etc. Some included new skills, like learning to knit an infinity scarf.

In this photo she is holding her new cookbook, a gift from our family. The page is opened to a recipe and picture of her with her young women president.

Last week I dropped Elizabeth off at college. Man, I miss her!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Personal Progress Popcorn

About once a month I invite all the young women to come to my home and work on personal progress. I usually don't make special invitations and the night is totally optional. Next week, however, I have asked ALL of them to come because I want to talk to each of them about what they are working on for Young Women in Excellence (which is going to be totally awesome--it's already in the works).

I found the greatest popcorn handout, but it was originally produced as a thank you. You can find it here. I thought the popcorn kernel idea fit so well with personal progress, so after emailing Ellie, she gave me permission to re-create her cute handout. Thank you Ellie!
Click here for a copy in Microsoft Publisher (this will allow you to modify it).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Knowledge #2

I'll be honest, this activity did not go the way I imagined it in my head. Not even close. The young women were super excited about this activity. I was super, DUPER excited about this activity. But three hours into the activity--yes, THREE hours--the girls started to lose steam. If you do the math, you'll realize I had these Beehives--who just started school--at the church until 10 pm. As a mom of teenage daughters, this is a huge no-no for young women activities.

Let me explain what our activity was. Then I'll tell you what I'd do differently to make the activity work within the hour/hour-and-a-half time frame.

Knowledge #2 value experience requires the young women to "list the talents [they] have and others [they'd] like to develop." Then they need to "learn a new skill or talent that will help [them] care for [their] future family or home." We taught them some basic sewing skills by making string backpacks out of old t-shirts (handy as they just went back to school). A HUGE thank you to my handsome nephews--Cole, Daniel, Caleb, Quaid, Michael, and Nash--for donating tons of t-shirts for my young women to choose from.

I was hoping to get a picture of all the girls with their backpacks, but by the time they were done they had to head home as quickly as possible. So I just got a picture of my daughter (who is a Beehive) modeling her backpack. She had to wait for me to cleanup anyway.

The bags turned out WAY CUTE and the girls seemed very happy with their creations. You can find the directions to the bags here. So if I were doing this activity within the time frame, I'd either take two activity nights to finish, or I'd do steps 1-5 for them before the activity.

Because all the girls couldn't sew or cut at the same time (we had three sewing machines and three cutting boards), I had some girls working on their list of talents.

I created these forms just a little smaller in size than their personal progress journals so they could glue or tape them into their journals when they got home. I loved the quote from Elder Ashton that said being able to weep is a gift. Who knew? That's definitely one of my gifts.

You can download the talent forms here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Smart Cookie

It's been a while since I've given the young women a personal progress reminder/incentive, so I thought back-to-school season would be the perfect time! I wanted to remind them that lots of the value experiences and projects are meant to be accomplished at school.

I baked them each a giant cookie, then placed the cookies in wax bags and sealed them with this cute washi tape.
After reviewing the personal progress book, I realized that lots of the value experiences and value projects mention it should be done at school. So I made a list of those on the back of the tag.
Our ward likes to keep Sunday treats to a minimum, so my initial idea was to give the girls hand sanitizer because in junior high, what girl wouldn't want herself some sweet-smelling hands? So here's what my first idea looked like:
I ended up not loving this idea as much as the cookie, but if you're interested you can find these mini hand sanitizers at Bath and Body Works.

Feel free to use the tags! PDF copy here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Knowledge #7

Now that Girls' Camp is over (whew!) don't forget about KNOWLEDGE value experience #7. If your girls went to camp, they should have learned about first aid, safety, sanitation, and survival--the rest is easy!

Our camp director asked me to do a devotional. I love, love, LOVE this quote from Elaine S. Dalton. I put it on some shiny paper and added a glow stick.

And here are our young women at camp after their mega water fight!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good Works #2

This activity was a fun one! Because of summer vacations/schedules, we didn't have very many girls attend. :(

For Good Works #2, the young women are required to: "Help plan your family's menus, obtain the food, and prepare part of the meals for two weeks. During that time help your family gather to share mealtimes. Report to your class what you have learned."

Each girl made a pan of enchiladas to take home to begin her two-week value experience.

I didn't plan the activity very well, but it would have been good to hand out a menu planner like this one [pictured below].

via Kissen Studio

Here are my young women with their enchiladas:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good Works Service Project

I was assigned an extra activity in May. Hooray! I really do love planning activities. Since we've had a lot of girls going on missions from our ward, I decided it would be fun to put together packages for missionaries. My inspiration for what went into the packages came from here. The pillowcases idea was brilliant since missionaries don't like a lot of extra "stuff" to carry around from transfer to transfer.

Our ward currently has four missionaries in the mission field.

1. At one station, the girls wrote their testimony in a Book of Mormon. My hope is that the missionary will give the book to a young woman who is investigating the gospel.

I included a photo of the girls in the Book of Mormon to personalize it a little.

2. At the next station all the girls wrote a short note to the missionary.
3. And at the last station, all the girls signed a pillowcase for the missionary with their favorite scripture on it.

I also threw in some breath mints because no one wants to hear about the gospel from a missionary with stinky breath. Lastly, I threw the missionary's favorite candy in the box before shipping the packages.

Here's the package before shipping:

The Young Women were able to count this as a Good Works value experience write-in.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Divine Nature #3

I'm a couple of months behind in my blogging. The end of school year caught me by surprise!

In April we focused on Divine Nature #3. Here is the invitation I handed out:

I told them I was giving them a recipe and they had to bring ALL the ingredients to the activity. They were very worried I was asking them to bring weird ingredients, until they saw the invitation. I love messing with them.

I also asked them how they showed love to their family members. I compiled their list and handed it out at the activity. Here's what they came up with:
  • send a text
  • write a note
  • talk/listen
  • make a treat
  • make dinner together
  • pray for each other
  • give compliments

I added to their list what is says in the personal progress book:
  • refrain from judging, criticizing, or speaking unkindly
  • watch for positive qualities
  • find ways to be helpful
  • verbally express love

At the activity they decorated a cupcake to take home to their family member to begin their two week value experience. The girls also got to decorate a cupcake for themselves. I couldn't believe how creative they were with my very simple toppings! Here are some photos:

Aren't they beautiful girls? I think so.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Summertime Personal Progress Bingo

My daughter is a 12-year-old Beehive. I've been busy coordinating our family's summer schedule and I realized the only thing she has this summer is YW camp. The only thing. So it got me thinking...maybe other young women have a pretty free summer too. It's the perfect time to get a lot done in Personal Progress! We're going to play Personal Progress BINGO. Here's how it works:

The instructions:

Click here for the chart in Publisher.
Click here for the chart in PDF.

And the finished product:
What great things is your ward doing for summer?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Knowledge #6

I've tried to follow the monthly curriculum theme for our Personal Progress nights, but this month was tricky! The only activity I could come up with was teaching the girls how to bake bread, and having them bake bread for Sacrament Meeting. Perfect activity for the Atonement theme, but the youth will be learning how to make unleavened bread the week before my activity. I'll probably keep the bread-making activity in my back pocket until July when the theme is "covenants."

So here's what I've come up with instead: Our ward has this AWESOME choir director who knows how to lead music. We'll focus on Knowledge #6, which requires the girls to learn two hymns and the correct conducting patterns. I'll also have a sign up sheet for the girls to lead the music in YW meetings (or maybe even Sacrament Meeting for a few brave souls?--have to check with the bishopric on this one). Since we are focusing on the Atonement this month (and Easter is just around the corner), I have asked our choir director to include songs that focus on this. I'm excited to see what he comes up with!

Here is the invitation for this activity:

And here's a view of front and back:

I was going for a Sweet Shoppe-looking invite, but it ended up looking like a baby shower invite. Oh, that I were a graphic designer and could make my computer understand what my mind sees.

I have LOVED all the communication with you amazing women and would love to hear what has worked in your wards to motivate the YW in Personal Progress!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Individual Worth #2

So far in this calling, I've only concentrated on Individual Worth. I chose to focus on Individual Worth #2 because the YW are learning about the Plan of Salvation this month. Patriarchal blessings seems to go right along with this.

I asked our Stake Patriarch to come and speak to the YW about patriarchal blessings. I made the invitation to look like a Liahona (which I found on a seminary blog--such a cool idea! You can find my inspiration here.)

Oh, the Places You'll Go! New Beginnings Program

Several people have asked for a copy of our program. For me, decorations and refreshments are a cinch, but the that's another story. I hesitate to post our program word-for-word because of the names of the Young Women. So without names, here's our program....
Conducting: (Laurel class president)
Chorister: (Laurel)
Pianist: (Laurel)
Opening Song: I Am a Child of God
Opening Prayer: (Laurel)
Introduction of YW Theme: (Beehive)
I asked this girl to explain the meaning of the theme, when the theme is recited, etc. (in her own words) before we stood as a group to recite it. I gave her a copy of what the handbook says about the theme to use as a reference.
Class purposes and symbols: (Beehive, Mia Maid, Laurel class presidents)
Again, I asked these three girls to explain their class purposes and symbols as if she were explaining it to the 11-year-olds and I gave them a copy of what the handbook says as a reference.
Introduction of new YW: (Laurel)
This was an introduction of the YW who have moved into the ward during the past year, not incoming Beehives. I asked the parents to answer the following questions about their daughter: 1. Where did she move from? 2. What does she miss about that place? 3. What does she love most about where she is living now? 4. Where will she go from here/future plans? We had a Laurel call her up to the front and read the answers.
Introduction of future Beehives: (Beehive class members)
Because we wanted to leave plenty of time for our guest speaker, we asked the moms of the 11-year-old girls to fill a 12x12 paper of highlights of their daughter. They included pictures, favorites, etc. The Laurel conducting the meeting asked everyone to look at these papers after the meeting and we had them posted on the chalkboard. However, we did have each Beehive invite a future Beehive to the front and told how she stood in holy places. When we gave the moms the 12x12 paper, we attached a small paper that asked them to complete this sentence: "My daughter stands in holy places by ____." Each Beehive simply read the paper. It was very quick!
Introduction of the Personal Progress Program: (Me!)
I asked the Mia Maids to help me explain the values during my talk. They just stood where they were and read the value color and statement. Easy.
Speaker: (The YW President)
Speaker: (Guest Speaker)
Closing remarks: Bishop
Closing song: I'll Go Where You Want Me
Closing prayer: (Laurel)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go! New Beginnings

We had a FANTASTIC New Beginnings last night. Our theme was based on the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

The invitation:

This is what the room looked like:

Each girl participated in some way (some with decorations, others with speaking parts). We had an AWESOME guest speaker. She is a musician and has written mostly EFY music. She connected so well with the girls. The best part of the night was her performing an original song, written for our New Beginnings that had "Oh, the Places You'll Go" in the title, but she tied it in to Stand in Holy Places.

We gave each girl crazy Seuss-like socks to remind them to always let their feet take them to holy places.

The socks:

The girls LOVED the socks. They put them on right away and some were willing to pose for me.

I got the socks from Target. Here are the files for invitations and sock label:

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...